Marie Cunliffe sculpts metal fabrics
for graduate fashion collection

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Maria Cunliffe graduate fashion collection

Kingston University graduate Marie Cunliffe has used copper-foiled lace and satin woven with metal to imitate colours and patterns from aerial photography for this fashion collection.

Maria Cunliffe graduate fashion collection

Marie Cunliffe added a copper-based metal to fabrics for her graduate collection, allowing her to sculpt materials in contours similar to land forms seen from above.

Maria Cunliffe graduate fashion collection

"My inspiration for the collection was taken from aerial images of the earth, focusing on the unusual patterns that the contours create," Cunliffe told Dezeen.

Maria Cunliffe graduate fashion collection

"The idea was to look from an alternative perspective – a new viewpoint. I translated this into silhouette, print and texture."

Maria Cunliffe graduate fashion collection

Cunliffe worked with fabrics by textile designer Lynn Tandler, who wove the satin with metal fibres.

Maria Cunliffe graduate fashion collection

This creates a shimmering material that amplifies the effects of light and shadow on the garments.

Maria Cunliffe graduate fashion collection

"The way it responds to light is really interesting and relates back to my initial research imagery," said Cunliffe.

Maria Cunliffe graduate fashion collection

She also foiled lace from French company Sophie Hallette to give the traditional material a metallic sheen.

Maria Cunliffe graduate fashion collection

Outfits are layered using garments with different fabric densities, pairing draped silks and lace with more structural materials.

Maria Cunliffe graduate fashion collection

Widened trouser legs and lengthened sleeves create exaggerated shapes, and a floor-length dress features a stiffened hem that folds back on itself at the front.

Maria Cunliffe graduate fashion collection

"I wanted dramatic silhouettes," Cunliffe said. "I then used both light and heavy weight fabrics, so the results were varied – the stiff fabrics creating large shapes, and the lighter making soft, fluid ones. I wanted to create a contrast."

Maria Cunliffe graduate fashion collection

Cobweb wool has been used to add texture to the collection. One dress is screen printed with the aerial imagery collected during her research.

Maria Cunliffe graduate fashion collection

The palette of muted greys, greens, oranges and purples is also taken from photographs of seas, forests, deserts and mountains.

Maria Cunliffe graduate fashion collection

Cunliffe studied womenswear fashion design at Kingston University in London. Photography is by Scott Carthy.